facts around En Abîme / 1. Mike Cooper, Rome, Melville, Pasolini. another layer

On 4 September 2012, a few weeks before the publication of En Abîme, I receive an email from Mike Cooper from Rome, saying he’d been walking along the river Tiber and had come across some pages from Melville’s diaries and Pasolini’s poems “that are attached to the wall along the Tiber as part of an installation that has been there for some years. The pieces (maybe you know them?) are set in huge glass boxes attached to the stone walls quite close to Castel Sant’Angelo – over the years they have been abused and nature has had a hand in transforming them into something other than what they started out as – now they resemble something the Spanish painter Antoni Tàpies might have made. Good luck with the book – I look forward to reading it.”

Although I lived in Rome for over ten years, I was never aware of those journals and poems under damaged glass boxes. And yet some of those quotes appear in my book. And Mike, in turn – who appears as a faint reflection at the end of the photo sequence below – is not aware of the fact that he is too in my book, in the same pages as the quotes by Melville and Pasolini that he came across and posted to me.

En Abîme, of layers and surfaces, receives pictures of more layers and surfaces, dust, leaves, pages. Overground and buried.

[all pictures by Mike Cooper, September 2012]


Rome: “uncertain shape like of a fire / in the fire of a New Prehistory”.

3 Comments to “facts around En Abîme / 1. Mike Cooper, Rome, Melville, Pasolini. another layer”

  1. Daniela – as you noted above I was completely unaware that you had written about me in your book when I took those photographs and sent them to you. What an honor!! And as i wrote you some days ago I visited the cemetery where Gramsci is buried for the first time ever in 26 years of being here – purely by chance – as I was passing on my way to the Asiatica Film Festival at the MACRO in nearby Testaccio – the day your book arrived. I had never found the place open before – so in i went and took some photos of Gramsci’s tomb stone. At one point walking through i turned around and was standing right by the tombstone of the artist Edith Schloss. I had no idea she was buried there. She was a friend who had died recently. Some days later leaving the film festival i saw Giovana Marini coming towards me. I had not seen her for many years. I told her about your book and that you wrote a lot about her in it. What a pile of coincidence and collusion. There are many parrots living in the cemetery these days adding an ‘exotica’ layer of sound to the already exotic atmosphere of the whole place with all these ‘stranieri’ buried there.

    • Thank you Mike. This all sounds great. I like to see how so many things are being placed together by means of a few pages… Or maybe writing them was like a lens, or a frame? And I loved to know of the parrots in the cemetery! Perfect.

  2. Remembering Pasolini today murdered November 2nd 1975 in Ostia – http://youtu.be/U-FxFN0VTAE

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